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Pumpkin Chawanmushi

Filed Under: Japanese Recipes Recipes

Pumpkin Chawanmushi
Pumpkin Chawanmushi

I haven’t been posting or blog visiting for a while because I just had wisdom tooth surgery last Friday (still ouch!). So amidst recuperating at home, sleeping at 10pm every night, catching up on some work, and playing fable2 on xbox360, I didn’t have a lot of online time left. And sadly, one of my beloved hamsters Nikole passed away suddenly yesterday, which couldn’t come at a worse time (not that anytime is a good time) T_T


No matter how busy life becomes, Halloween comes but once a year, so how can one miss cooking with pumpkin at this time of the year? Glad I still managed to sneak in some pumpkin into the cooking and make these adorable, (post-surgery-chew-friendly) pumpkin chawanmushi. The addition of pumpkin sweetens up this popular Japanese appetizer.

For those who aren’t familiar, Chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) is egg custard that’s steamed in a tea cup and usually consists of an egg mixture flavored with soy sauce, sake and dashi. It is a traditional Japanese dish, commonly eaten as an appetizer. It can be eaten either hot and cool with a small spoon. I love to order this when I go to Japanese restaurants, but I realised that making it at home isn’t difficult at all and you can make all kinds of variations like this pumpkin variation by tweaking the basic recipe.

(makes 3-4 cups)

A) For the egg custard mixture::
– 3 eggs (4 if the eggs are small)
– 1 2/3 cups (about 250ml) kombu and bonito stock
– 1 tsp sugar
– 2 tsp sake or white cooking wine
– 3/4 to 1 tbsp light soy sauce

B) Filling::
– Kamaboko fish cake slices
– 4 large Prawns, de-shelled and de-veined
– feel free to add other ingredients (such as mushrooms, chicken, Imitation sharks fin, gingko nuts etc)

– 80g (raw) pumpkin flesh (skin and seeds removed)

1. Blend the pumpkin until smooth using a blender.
2. Break the eggs into the bowl. Gently stir the eggs with a pair of chopsticks using a cutting action.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients from A to the eggs mixture, as well as 50g of blended pumpkin. Blend the mixture till fine. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
4. Place fish cakes, chopped prawns and other ingredients at the bottom of each cup and pour the egg mixture over (do not fill to the brim, leave some gap on top).
5. Cover the cups with lids, transparent food wrap or aluminum foil (do not leave an opening).
6. Steam the cups over high heat for about 10 mins. To test if the chawanmushi is cooked, insert a bamboo stick into the mixture: if a little clear liquid comes out, it is cooked.
7. Steam the remaining blended pumpkin and 1 large prawn (half) for 5 minutes. Garnish on top of chawanmushi. You can also add some ebikko (egg roe) to garnish if you wish.

Pumpkin Chawanmushi

Cooking Notes:

– Straining the mixture through a fine sieve prevents bubbles from forming on the surface of the custard.
– You can cheat by buying instant powdered kombu and bonito stock (I did!), or you can also make it from scratch.
– Use a ceramic material for steaming the egg custard. Plastic material will melt during steaming. I bought my tea cups at Daiso.
– When steaming the cups, make sure they are sealed, other wise the evaporating droplets will land on the custard during steaming and cause unsightly bubbles.

Related Recipe
Basic Chawanmushi

47 comments on “Pumpkin Chawanmushi”

  1. Sorry about your hamster and hope you are feeling better. Love your smooth chawanmushi and the cups!

  2. Sorry abt nikole and hope you’re feeling better. *hugs*

    tht chawanmushi looks smooth and yummy-looking.

  3. Sorry about Nikole!! I have never been pet person, but grew up with all sorta pets – my broters’ and my dad’s. Feel better! And on that wisdom teeth too – ouch..I have this deep dislike about dentist. :D

    Pumpkin chawanmushi – huh..I have never come across it. But of course, the first time I had my first chawanmushi was when I was in KL, only few years ago. Always learn new thing everyday :)

  4. Wow that looks great! I love chawan mushi. I just made a batch of onsen tamago which is my other favourite egg dish.

  5. BTW sorry to hear about Nikole:( I used to keep hamsters, but after George and Peanut died, I decided I needed to find a pet that lived longer. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  6. Sorry to hear of Nikole. Her auntie, Bullie also passed away on the 28th Oct 2008 :(

  7. Sorry to hear about your hamster. And hope you are recovering well. Take care.

    As usual, your pics looks fabulous!

    Happy Halloween! No treats for you though. ;)

  8. Hi everyone, thanks for the kind comments about my recipe and the words of comfort about my hamster … your words cheer me up … really appreciate it!


    didally, lucky you! I still have another side to go thru :(

    lk, what a coincidence … hope u get well soon!

    Peko, thanks for visiting me, I love your site!

    Nate, sounds interesting … perhaps u would like to try it out :)

    beachloverk, I hope u think of something! ;D

    Joanna, thanks for visiting me and for the tag!

    Chris, it’s a great game (my biased opinion)! I have already completed one round =x now trying to replay ;)

    chipmon, thanks for letting me adopt Nikole … hope Bullie & Nikole keep each other company at the rainbow bridge.

    Thanks again everyone!

  9. I really like chawan mushi and your twist on it looks tasty. It’s always fun to make and has so many variations.

  10. I love the photo of Nicole Chan :roll: … have seen those little shopping trolleys a while ago and now regret I did not get one…
    Thank you for nice words about the design, website is still in “beta”… lots of little things to correct :P My boyfriend is working on it.

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